Brendan Johnston is a painter born and raised in the heart of one of America's most cultured cities, New York. After graduating high school, Johnston attended McGill University in Montreal, where he graduated with a degree in art history and then returned to Manhattan to study at the Harlem Studio of Art. From there he moved to Grand Central Academy, famed altelier school of classical master Jacob Collins. Modeled after the grand ateliers of Europe, students work daily within the studio of a master painter learning anatomy, plaster cast drawing, grisaille and careful modeling of the human form. At Grand Central Academy from 2008 through 2012, Johnston painted under the tutelage of Jacob Collins, Edward Minoff and Scott Waddell, among others.
After completing his studies at Grand Central Academy, Johnston spent a year traveling throughout Italy. In the footsteps of many remarkable painters from past centuries, he copied old master paintings in the museums in Florence, Naples and Rome. Since painting is a visual language, copying old master works is a way to dialogue with these grand painters and learn how they resolved problems, composed their canvases and controlled color, brushwork and drawing. Johnston's travels in Europe included plein air painting in Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Spain and the Balearic Islands.
Brendan Johnston currently teaches at Grand Central Academy in Long Island City, NY, where he also shares studio space with several other talented young painters. Equally comfortable in portraiture, figurative work and landscape, Johnston's paintings and drawings display remarkable draughtsmanship, value control, subtlely of color and a keenly sensitive line. His paintings are contemporary while being profoundly influenced by great works from the Renaissance through the great classical Beaux Arts period of the 19th century. His draws his inspiration "from a wide variety of historical influences including Raphael, Rembrandt, Ingres and Sargean"t.
Brendan Johnston's paintings are represented in significant collections throughout the United States.